With a purposeful stride, you can walk the perimeter of a hectare-sized field in about four minutes. You are not examining the crops, analyzing the soil, or taking inventory of irrigation equipment and machinery. You are simply tracing the edges of a hectare.
Now consider Lisbon, Portugal-based agronomist Francisco Castanheira
. Castanheira is an olive tree specialist, or more precisely, an olive oil production specialist. In Lisbon, Castanheira gets a message from a massive olive oil producing farm in Azerbaijan. This isn't one hectare, but thousands of hectares of olive trees. Like everyone he consults with, the Azerbaijani farmers want Castanheira's help to increase the yield and quality of their product. In other words, they want Castanheira to analyze every tree and patch of soil so they can produce better olive oil.
A decade ago, Castanheira and other agronomists like him would have trudged or slowly driven through row after row of olive trees. That's still the default for most farms around the world. Sounds nice, but not when you have thousands of hectares waiting for analysis from other clients.